This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
High Street – The Riggindale Eagle and Bruno Eats The Last Bits of Snow
In a casual moment somewhere towards the last dregs of the bottle of Californian merlot wot I got from Crook Boozerama, Bruno casually mentioned that a) It was time for his tea and b) He’d heard on Twitter that there was a still a small patch of snow on Mardale Harter fell and wouldn’t it be a good idea to go and eat it and generally rough it up a bit before it melts. And so, the very next morning (That would be Monday), as I snoozed in the back, Superdawg steered the knipemobile up over Killhope and Hartside to Penrith and down to Mardale to park prettily amongst crowds of youthful (and some not so youthful) backpackers with Very large rucksacks. There wuz fahsands of them and I remarked in these terms to a chap who’d parked next to the knipemobile and who was about to set off on a family wander around the hills with his..er….family. We pontificated that it was probably something to do with the Duke of Edinburgh or some kind of Rucksack Rally. So, we set off in the general direction of Riggindale, passing through a polite group of about ten heaving along under their regulated and listed piles of official and heavy-looking gear. One lass thought that my suggestion of loading the lad at the front’s rucksack with extra boulders, since he obviously had some kind of energy-surfeit problem, was a good one. We had a brief discussion as to how this would be achieved and resolved to wait till he’d gone off for a wee, when the dirty deed would be done. Several handy stones were identified as being suitable. Me and the Dawg turned off up the steep path to Kidsty Pike, closely followed, at first, by another two similarly encumbered gangs of yoofs. But they ran out of steam quite soon and stopped to look at maps and point at things. The first group only arrived at the top of Kidsty Pike as I left, having had lunch. Having still got bits of Man Flu (have I mentioned this?) I was a bit smug about this, what with being an old codger and so on.. but with only a range of weatherproof jackets and a flask of fair trade coffee in the rucksack and not having to navigate all that much, which takes time to do, I was at some advantage, I suppose. I bagged Rampsgill head yet again and headed towards High Street, keeping to the edge for the nice view, when I spotted a large bird hurtling – yes, hurtling from the general direction of Rough Crag and , apparently, about to have a serious collision with the middle-level slopes of Kidsty Pike. Then, only a foot or so off the ground, it turned and sped along the contours, putting up several crows and a raven who then proceeded to try to mob it. It was last seen heading towards Haweswater. If this wasn’t an eagle, it was a bloody big buzzard. Well chuffed with witnessing these antics, we quickly bagged High Street and continued to Thornthwaite Crag for lunch in the sun and out of the perishing wind. I have a PHD Minimus dryshell jacket for auction, compliments of Dawn, and I needed a picture or two for the walkersforum auction section. So I took a selfie. As a marketing picture, though, this was a failure. I will try again later this week. Its a crackin jacket, though…. ideal for the backpacking and generally keeping warm. After lunch we headed for Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell where Bruno’s intelligence (I use this word lightly and with only a tinge of sarcasm) proved correct and there was, indeed, a small and scruffy patch of snow, some of which he ate, some of which he dug up, and some of which he had a wee on. I expect that this small patch won’t be there for much longer. On the way, we met the family from the car park, but to my embarrassment, I didn’t remember them and had to ask if we’d met before… (dhuhh) (I’m very bad at names and faces, in fact, on really bad mornings, I wonder who that bloke is in the bathroom mirror…) Harter fell came and went and we returned to the car park on the Gatescarth path – which seems to have been widened enough for an ATV , or, maybe , an adventurous 4WD. I don’t remember it being this wide. We did nine and a bit miles and 3800 feet of up. I was reasonably pleased that I could manage this after my recent decline (I did mention this, didn’t I?) and , maybe the loss of half a stone of wobbly stuff is a blessing as far as battling up contours is concerned. Its an ill wind, as they say in places where there’s not much else to do but trot out daft phrases… Here’s a map.
I am a retired NHS Personnel person. All I do nowadays is walk about.
I used to have my pet dog Bruno with me (in the front page pic). he was Superdawg but he died. Now I have Lucky the pup. He's a bit like Bruno, only smaller and more suspicious.